Hmm, didn't know that about the hollow pommel. As far as the size goes, I can say that one does get used to it, but changing over to anything else makes it seem too large by comparison after all is said and done. Suffice it to say though, the new one seems a bit back weighted to me where the former seemed a bit front weighted, and the new one definitely has a whippier blade.
Which reminds me. I believe one of the problems I had early on in working out Fiore's techniques was the shortness of the Paul Chen handles (about 5.5 inches). When I finally got around to the text on the form of the sword for Armored Play (and the one in Vadi too) and discovered that it was recommended to be one span, that certainly changed some things for me. The span of my hand measures 9 inches. After that things got much easier to perform.
The question is, will Tinker's prototypes be something that Paul Chen puts into production. Though his pommel on his long sword is a fish tail, it will still be interesting to see what happens.